Scenic USA - New York

Bow Bridge

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Bow Bridge - Central Park, New York

Photos by Charles Chessler
Charles Chessler Photography

     For New Yorkers, it would be hard to imagine the city without Central Park - Bow Bridge their beloved Central Park, an idea that was born in the mid 19th century. Brought from the design board to reality in 1858 by three of the most revered architectural geniuses of the time, Frederick Law Olmsted, Calvert Vaux and Andrew Jackson Downing offered their unique fields of expertise. This massive project, employing some 20,000 laborers, gardeners, stone masons and project managers, focused on an initial 700 acres. The rugged land, dotted with swamps and high rocky outcroppings, was blasted, reshaped and groomed for 270,000 plants and trees, a free-formed reservoir, and over 40 complementary bridges. When it was finished, Central Park - Bow Bridge the park took up nearly 800 acres of prime real estate, cost the city more than 10 million dollars (eight million over the original budget) and delighted each and every visitor, both the rich and poor.
     Stretching 60 feet over the water, the Bow Bridge is one of Central Park’s most photographed settings. Visualized by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey, the cast-iron masterpiece guides pedestrians from Cherry Hill to Olmsted's masterpiece, The Ramble. Here in this peaceful setting, the Bow Bridge provides the perfect platform to view the lake, the Fifth Avenue skyline, and a graceful gathering of Sunday afternoon rowboats.

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